Oak Hill Celebrates New Outdoor Classroom
Oak Hill Elementary hosted a garden party and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to celebrate the addition of a new outdoor classroom.
Oak Hill Elementary School celebrated its status as one of Maryland’s newest Green Schools on Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently completed outdoor classroom. There were musical and instrumental performances from each grade level as well as poems written about Oak Hill becoming a green school.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Maxwell, Regional District Superintendent Catherine Herbert and Delegate Cathy Vitale (R-Severna Park) attended to celebrate the school’s new green initiatives.
Jack Williams, a Severna Park High School senior and former Oak Hill alumnus, was honored for his role in creating the outdoor classroom. Williams earned the highest rank in scouting, the Eagle Scout, for the project.
Williams was looking for a potential project to complete when he “got wind of something happening at Oak Hill,” he said.
The green school initiative was started by former Oak Hill teacher Candace Warnock. It is now spearheaded by pre-K teacher Tamara Kingsland and kindergarten teacher Amy Praley, who praised Williams' hard work and dedication.
The project took months of preparation and cooperation from a variety of people.
“The project needed me to do the bulk of planning, and so I did plan the aspects of the project, from coordinating the lumber beams purchase and placement, to the excavation of the site, to the approval of the council, to the safety of volunteers (just to name a few steps), the project required a lot of planning and preparation," Williams said.
Williams said the project wouldn't have been possible without the help of his parents, Wadi and Kathy Williams, and his scout master Richard Seitz, who also attended Friday's ceremony.
“In a world where all we hear are negatives about our young people, we feel that this is an opportunity to highlight the selfless efforts of a magnificent young man. He [Williams] is a wonderfully gifted and talented young man and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate his accomplishments,” Kingsland said.